The Stanford Cardinal head down to the desert to take on the Arizona Wildcats this Saturday, looking to start Pac-12 play with a big W and continue their march to a possible Pac-12 championship. For more on the Cardinal check out Rule of Tree.
Coming off a win in which the Stanford Cardinal had a rough first half against a sub-par Duke Blue Devils team, quarterback Andrew Luck and his squad will have to regroup for a hungry Arizona Wildcats team this Saturday that has been struggling running the ball but has had no problem whatsoever through the air.
Lead by quarterback Nick Foles' 811 yards and six touchdowns through two games in the season, the Wildcats really struggle to find a balance in their offense without much of a running game. Currently ranking dead last in the Pac-12 at 58.0 average rush yards a game, Arizona could only rush for 41 yards total in their 37-14 loss to no. 9 Oklahoma State last weekend, although they hope they can improve against the Cardinal this week.
"You have to be able to run the ball," Foles said. "We have running backs capable, we have the ability to run it and we'll figure it out. When we start to run the ball the passing game will open up even more. I feel confident in our passing game but we have to start running it better."
Foles may likely get one of his most talented weapons back on the field this weekend as well as Juron Criner may be eligible to return to the field after an appendectomy on September 5. Criner lead the conference in receiving yards last season, and could very well do the same this year if Foles keeps his numbers where they are.
Stanford on the other hand has been nothing short of immaculate as they roll on with their current 10-game win streak; fourth-longest ever in school history. The Cardinal's prolific offense has produced 101 points this year, tying No. 10 South Carolina for the FBS's fourth-highest point total thus far. Heisman candidate Andrew Luck will return to Arizona's campus Saturday, the scene of his most prolific passing game as a collegiate athlete: throwing for 423 yards two years ago in a 43-38 loss.
With these great QB's on display the final score will likely come down to who can run the ball better, or conversely who can stop the run better. Stanford has the advantage there, but will have to be at the top of their game at Arizona Stadium.